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No game room, dorm or hangout can truly claim to be complete without a dartboard. This age-old pursuit has always been and remains a fan favorite. While simple in principle, there’s something so addictive, challenging, and, most importantly, fun about throwing arrow-shaped darts at a round target on the wall. Challenging yourself or friends to a game of darts is a great way to spend your free time. But what’s the best dartboard for making the most of this time? Well, that depends on a number of factors. Read on to find out.
It may come as a surprise to some, but there are actually a number of different board types to consider when getting into darts. The best dartboard for you will depend on a number of factors like who you’re playing with, whether you enjoy mental arithmetic or want it done for you and how serious a player you intend to be. Below we take a look at the various types of boards available and set out some of their major points.
Novelty boards are made for fun. Whether it’s a child-friendly magnetic option that is free of potentially dangerous steel points or a cheap steel-tip set which isn’t bound by international regulations, these boards are ideal for bedrooms, dorms and other social arenas for a bit of light relief and competitive fun. They also tend to be more budget-friendly and are often a lot quicker to set up as the stipulation for correct heights and distances to play are less applicable.
These more traditional-style boards are used with steel-tip darts and are the style used by many of the professional darts leagues around the world, including the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the British Darts Organization (BDO). They are made from highly compressed fibers which allow the steel points to penetrate and pull out of the board without causing long-term damage. This is the classic “pub-style” dartboard which is most popular in Europe, especially in the UK. It’s also important to note that high-quality bristle boards rarely come with darts included because players prefer to choose the weight and size of their own darts separately
Electronic dartboards, or soft-tip darts, has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, especially in Asia. This style of darts uses, you guessed it, darts with soft tips. When thrown, these darts catch in a plastic board that is covered in tiny holes. Many people prefer this style of darts as you aren’t dealing with potentially dangerous steel tips. In addition, boards often do all the addition for you, and most boards include different games built-in to their computers, providing a whole range of playing options from the get-go. Almost all the boards include darts.
Once you’ve decided which style of darts is the best fit for you, check out our collection of the best dartboards below.
1. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard
If you’re a keen dart player who’s looking for a traditional-style dartboard worthy of competitive play and practice, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard fits the bill. It’s endorsed by the PDC and boasts Unicorn technology wiring with a staple-free construction, including the bullseye, which maximizes the board’s usable surface and minimizes bounce outs. The board also comes with a checkout chart to hang on your wall for quick double and treble calculations.
2. BATTOP Double-Sided Dartboard
The BATTOP Double-Sided Dart Board is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly answer to throwing some arrows. While not the highest quality piece, this double-sided flocking dartboard will give you your darting fix. The built-in triangular hanging loop makes it easy to hang this board in man caves, game rooms or any other indoor or outdoor arenas, and, in addition to the traditional 20-number target side, it includes a center-orientated accuracy game on the reverse. The board includes six darts, three red and three yellow, so once it’s unpacked and hung, you’re ready to play right away.
3. STREET WALK Magnetic Dartboard
BEST FOR KIDS
If you’ve got children who would love to throw darts at a board but aren’t quite old enough for sharp and pointy ends quite yet, try the STREET WALK Magnetic Dart Board instead. This durable board comes with four sets of colored magnet-tipped darts and has a reversible design, which only adds to the amount of fun. For ease and speed of hanging, the board includes a built-in loop that fits over nails and other points. This board is great for bedrooms and game rooms and can be used as a fun addition on camping trips, at parties and at other social gatherings, too.
4. Viper Defender Dartboard Surround Wall Protector
Everyone throws a wayward dart every now and again, even the pros. While this is less of a problem with magnetic or plastic-tipped darts, metal points do tend to leave a mark, which is why, if you care for your walls, we suggest mounting this Viper Defender Dartboard Surround Wall Protector around your board. It’s made from high-density V-foam, fits any standard bristle dartboard and adds an extra five inches of protection. It’s also super easy to fit as it simply slides over your board and requires no additional bracing or hardware.
5. Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Dartboard Set
BEST BUDGET BRISTLE
The Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Dartboard Set lets you enjoy bristle board darts without the heavier price tag of some of the more pro-standard offerings. It includes six steel-tipped darts, so you’re ready to play as soon as you hang the board. Additionally, like many of the higher-priced boards, the number ring rotates to let you squeeze more use out of the board when some of the heavier used areas start to show wear over time.
6. WIN.MAX Electronic Dartboard
BEST BUDGET ELECTRONIC
If electronic darts is your game, then it’s worth considering the WIN.MAX Electronic Dart Board. This well-reviewed board includes 12 darts, 21 games with up to 65 variations and an LCD for clear and easy scorekeeping. Games include 301, 401, 501, cricket, no-score cricket, bowling and numerous others, providing hours of varied gameplay. The board also includes an automatic scoring system along with a voice announcer which helps ramp up the fun and competitive side of the game, too. Furthermore, the board can be powered by either batteries or a wall plug, providing an ability to play in remote locations should you want to.
7. EastPoint Sports Derbyshire Bristle Dartboard
BEST CABINET COMBO
With six included darts and a classy cabinet exterior, the EastPoint Sports Derbyshire Bristle Dartboard adds function and style to any room. The two-hinged doors allow you to close away the board when it’s not in use, while when open, they offer two cricket scoreboards which can be marked using the provided chalk. You’ll also find in-door darts storage which makes misplacing your darts a whole lot harder. The board itself is constructed from natural sisal fiber, allowing it to “self heal” after being hit. Furthermore, the bullseye is staple free for a greater target area and to minimize bounce-outs. Plus, the number ring rotates to provide added durability and more even wearing.
8. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard
The Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard is the choice for anyone who wants a professional-standard dartboard. The board comes with an endorsement from the British Darts Organization (BDO) and uses extra-fine wiring to maximize the available scoring area while minimizing bounce outs. This tough wire adds to the board’s durability. This is also aided by the dual-core design which includes an additional layer for great penetration without sacrificing durability. It’s important to remember this board doesn’t include darts if you want to start playing right away. Additionally, the triple-wheel lock-and-level system allows for easy installation and leveling.
9. Barrington Dartboard Cabinet
Because of its attractive design and classy wooden exterior, you will find that people who don’t play darts still love this Barrington Dartboard Cabinet. In addition to the dark wood veneer, three built-in LED lights illuminate the board for better visibility and further add to the cabinet’s overall elegance. Function-wise, the premium-quality board includes a staple-free bullseye and a rotating number wheel for added durability. On either side of the board, there’s a scoreboard that can be used for cricket or other games and can be marked with the included marker.
10. Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
For top-quality electronic darting, it’s worth considering the Arachnid Cricket Pro Tournament-Quality Electronic Dartboard. This comprehensive offering includes a range of handy advantages over its non-electric competitors, including 39 built-in games with 179 variations, a high-quality LED score display and automatic scoring. The red, yellow and black colors create an appealing visual for any room, and as the board can manage up to eight players at a time, it’s ideal for players who love to play with friends. For fun, the board also includes a heckler option that sees you applauded for good throws and harassed for bad ones. This function can, of course, be turned off.
11. Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Standing Dartboard
BEST FREE STANDING
If you’re looking for a freestanding board so you don’t have to drill any holes or partake in any kind of DIY activity, the Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Standing Electronic Dartboard may be the right choice for you. In addition to a generous amount of storage space in the three shelves and cabinet built into the stand, this high-quality electronic board has everything you need for a night of dart-based fun. It can accommodate up to eight players and offers 24 games and 132 options for a complete range of playing options. The tournament-standard, micro-thin spider helps prevent bounce-outs, while the voice prompt keeps your games well organized. The board also comes with six soft-tip darts, so you’re ready to play as soon as you’ve set everything up.